Hidradenitis Suppurativa Specialist

Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton

Dermatology located in Brighton, MA & Needham, MA

Many people with hidradenitis suppurativa go undiagnosed for years because their symptoms are too embarrassing to discuss, or they receive a misdiagnosis. At Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton in Mashpee, Needham, and Brighton, Massachusetts, Mark Amster, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, and the team have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating hidradenitis suppurativa. They focus on relieving your symptoms and preventing frequent flare-ups using medication or surgery if needed. To get help managing hidradenitis suppurativa, call the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you or book an appointment online today.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

What is hidradenitis suppurativa?

Hidradenitis suppurativa, also known as acne inversa, is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes painful lumps to develop under the skin. These lumps can be painful, break open, or cause tunnels to form under the skin.

The underlying cause of hidradenitis suppurativa isn’t well understood but might relate to blockages in the skin’s hair follicles. In most cases, the lumps form in areas where the skin rubs together, such as the:

  • Groin
  • Thighs
  • Breasts
  • Buttocks
  • Underarms

Hidradenitis suppurativa generally starts after puberty and can progressively worsen. The symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa can eventually impact daily life, self-esteem, and emotional health.

Your risk for hidradenitis suppurativa increases if you have a family history of the disease, are obese, or smoke.

Women are more likely to develop hidradenitis suppurativa than men, possibly due to hormone changes. Some women experience a significant reduction in their hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms after reaching menopause.

When should I seek treatment for hidradenitis suppurativa?

Early diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa is important for managing your condition and preventing it from worsening.

You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton if you develop pea-sized lumps under your skin that don’t go away, especially if the lumps are painful.

A diagnostic evaluation is also important if you notice tracts, or tunnels, forming under your skin that connect lumps. The tunnels might leak foul-smelling pus.

If you already have a diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa, you should schedule a consultation with the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton team to better manage flare-ups of the disease.

How is hidradenitis suppurativa treated?

The goals of treating hidradenitis suppurativa are to relieve your symptoms and prevent complications like infections, scarring, and reduced self-esteem.

The providers at Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton customize a treatment plan that might include:


Antibiotic creams can clear existing infections and prevent new ones. You might also need oral antibiotics or pain medications to help you manage your symptoms.


In some cases, surgery is necessary to treat tunnels under the skin, drain excess fluids, or remove damaged skin in those with severe hidradenitis suppurativa.

Lifestyle changes

You can make lifestyle changes that help you lose excess weight, quit smoking, and keep your stress under control to prevent a recurrence of hidradenitis suppurativa flare-ups.

To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for hidradenitis suppurativa, call the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you or book an appointment online today.